10 Women in Israel Detained for Wearing Prayer Shawls
One is Sarah Silverman's sister
By Evann Gastaldo, Newser Staff
Posted Feb 11, 2013 9:15 AM CST
Wrapped in Jewish prayer shawls, Rabbi Susan Silverman, second left, along with her daughter Hallel Abramowitz, second right, are detained by police officers in Jerusalem's Old City, Feb. 11, 2013.   (AP Photo/Tali Mayer)

(Newser) – Ten women, one the sister of comedian Sarah Silverman, were detained today for wearing prayer shawls at a holy site in Israel. The Western Wall in Jerusalem's Old City is under Orthodox ritual law, which only allows men to wear prayer shawls, Reuters reports. Susan Silverman was there as part of "Women of the Wall," a group campaigning for gender equality in religion. "They [police] said 'take off your prayer shawls', and we said 'no,'" and were escorted away after prayers ended, Silverman says.

She says the law banning women from wearing prayer shawls is like "spitting on Sinai," the site where Moses is said to have received the 10 Commandments. "All Jews are in a covenant with God," she says, both male and female. Susan Silverman is a reform rabbi who immigrated to Israel from Boston. Her 17-year-old daughter was detained with her.

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Feb 11, 2013 5:00 PM CST
A religion grows from the culture, and the power politics of the culture. Said religion, while it is still alive in the culture, will then proscribe behaviors and beliefs, thus impacting the culture. It is a give and take dynamic. To the extent that religion mirrors the parallel culture, its power dynamic reflects the culture. Study the religion, and you will have a good idea what the culture is like. However, when a new religion suddenly springs up in a culture, thru an influx of immigration and trade, an increase in intellectualism, "miraculous works" being observed, an entheogen being introduced, etc... it will challenge and threaten the structure of the culture. Religion can be quite a subversive tool. Not necessarily a bad thing... But trying to drag a dying religion into a new millennium is exhausting, and usually ends in martyrdom and failure. Better to dream big, and develop a new spirituality for the new times, realizing that eventually, it too will become obsolete, and discarded for something more contemporary.
Feb 11, 2013 1:52 PM CST
I would tend to agree that Religion is stupid, it is after all a man made belief system. God has acknowledged none of the Religions, however any adherent of any Cult or Religion may claim otherwise. I do not presume to try & second guess what God would or would not say, but God that was at all interested in the progress of Humanity would not (at least in my opinion want Humanity subjected to some of the excesses that certain Cults claiming to be Religions & or Religions themselves) do to believers & nonbelievers & those who have turned away from the beliefs they once held.
Feb 11, 2013 1:38 PM CST
It should NOT be beyond the remit of these Women to make themselves a Dress in the colors used in a Prayer shawl and with a fringe. Thus they could then go pray wherever so long as it is not the Male Section in a Synagogue.